WorldFestival 2022 WorldFestival 2022

Lessons in Innovation Leadership: How I Built a Scrappy Dream Team Inside of Big Tech


Elizabeth Bieniek
Cisco, Internal Startup Founder

Elizabeth Bieniek pioneers internal startups for Cisco's multibillion-dollar Collaboration & Security business. Her expertise lies in building empowered teams that effectively navigate internal corporate workings to operate like a startup and deliver bleeding edge products and solutions inside of a parent company. Her most recent venture was Co-Founder of Webex Hologram, the industry’s first holographic collaboration system enabling a feeling of co-presence by delivering photorealistic holograms in real-time. Elizabeth focuses on the interface of people and emerging technology and how to make the lives of the former happier by efficiently and invisibly applying the latter. A problem-solver at heart, Elizabeth believes “impossible” just means no one has done it yet. She relies on her previous experience in industries as varied as technology, art, marketing, and education, as well as life and travel experience, to bring a unique flair to challenging conventional thinking and inspiring teams to achieve unprecedented results. 


Coming up with ideas is hard. Leading teams through uncharted waters to build and deliver something amazing is even harder. In this talk, Elizabeth shares how she led the team that delivered Webex Hologram from concept through customer beta. In her own words: "When I received sponsorship to prove out a concept and build a prototype of a cutting edge, disruptive technology, I was ecstatic. But when I was given a limited budget and only 4 months to demonstrate the initial proof of concept, I got creative." Join Elizabeth as she retells the early days of Webex Hologram and outlines the 5 key strategies she employed to build an amazing team and empower them to create an innovative new product.